Lawrence J. Zweifach is a litigation partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's New York office. Mr. Zweifach is a nationally recognized trial lawyer, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and he has been acclaimed as one of the country's best litigators in Lawdragon's 500 Leading Lawyers in America. He has extensive experience handling civil and criminal matters, including securities, antitrust, SEC, PCAOB and CFTC enforcement investigations and litigation, corporate governance, internal investigations, white collar criminal defense and complex commercial litigation. He regularly defends parallel proceedings that include shareholder class actions, antitrust class actions, derivative lawsuits, domestic and cross-border regulatory investigations, state attorney general investigations and federal grand jury investigations.
Mr. Zweifach has
served as trial counsel in a wide variety of cases, including securities,
antitrust, accounting, auditing, RICO, mail and wire fraud, tax and bankruptcy,
as well as contract, corporate control and partnership disputes. His experience
includes numerous high-profile criminal cases that he tried during his nine
years as a federal prosecutor at the United States Attorney’s Office for the
Eastern District of New York, where he was Chief of the Criminal Division. He
has represented a broad spectrum of clients, including public and private
corporations, public accounting firms, investment banks, boards of directors,
special committees, audit committees, corporate officers and directors,
investment advisors, hedge funds, mutual funds and
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business ranked Mr. Zweifach among the top Securities Enforcement lawyers in the country, among the leading Securities Litigators in New York, and among the leading White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyers in New York. He is described as "a forceful and tenacious advocate" who "keeps calm under fire and has good judgment," is "a very good strategic thinker" who is "really respected, deeply enmeshed in the New York Bar and works on the big cases." He also has been recognized as a National and Local "Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation. In addition, Who's Who Legal and Global Investigations Review named Mr. Zweifach to their list of the World's Ten Most Highly Regarded Investigations Lawyers. Who's Who Legal describes him as a "brilliant advocate" known for his "commanding presence in the courtroom." Also, Mr. Zweifach has been recognized in Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation's Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, The International Who's Who of Business Crime Defense Lawyers, The International Who's Who of Investigations Lawyers & Forensic Experts, and the White Collar Crime Lawyers Expert Guide. He is also a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honor society, and a recipient of the New York City Bar Association's Thurgood Marshall Award for his pro bono defense of capital cases.
Mr. Zweifach is a member of the Dean’s
Advisory Board of George Washington University Law School. He also is President
Emeritus of the Greater New York Regional Board of the American Friends of the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Over the years, Mr. Zweifach has been actively involved in bar association activities. He is currently a member of the White Collar Crime Committee of the New York City Bar Association.
Mr. Zweifach is a former law clerk to the Honorable Harold
A. Stevens of the New York State Court of Appeals and to the Honorable Henry
Bramwell of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York. He also was the Chair of the Litigation Department of Heller Ehrman’s New
York office. He received his Juris Doctor cum laude from George
Washington University Law School in 1973, where he was the articles editor of
The Journal of International Law and Economics. He received his
Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Lehigh University in
Mr. Zweifach regularly lectures and participates in panel discussions before various professional organizations, has written numerous publications, and teaches CLE courses on a wide variety of subjects. He was Chair of the New York City Bar's Third Annual Securities Litigation and Enforcement Institute. He has taught trial advocacy courses for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the American Law Institute-American Bar Association, the U.S. Attorney General's Advocacy Institute, Practising Law Institute, the New York City Bar and numerous law schools.
is admitted to practice in the State of New York, and before the U.S. Courts of
Appeal for the Second, Third and Tenth Circuits, the U.S. Tax Court, and the
U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts
of New York.
The following matters are representative of Mr.
Zweifach’s broad litigation practice:
- UBS AG: Represents UBS in Multi-District Litigation involving the alleged
manipulation of LIBOR and other interest rate benchmarks.
- Visa U.S.A.: Trial counsel for Visa U.S.A. in a nationwide federal
antitrust class action brought on behalf of all retail merchants that accept
Visa cards, alleging that Visa illegally tied acceptance of Visa debit cards to
acceptance of Visa credit cards. At the time of the litigation, the case was
the largest private treble damage action in U.S. history.
- Ernst & Young LLP: Successfully defended Ernst & Young in class
actions and related proceedings arising from the so-called “Madoff Scandal.”
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (Canada): Achieved favorable settlements for
PricewaterhouseCoopers (Canada) in securities class actions brought by
shareholders and bondholders of Laidlaw Inc.
- Big Four Firm: Represents a former audit partner of a Big Four firm at
trial of enforcement action brought by the PCAOB.
- UBS AG: Persuaded the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the
dismissal of a securities class action against UBS and its affiliates involving
a $2.5 billion offering of mortgage-backed securities.
- Moody’s: Trial counsel for Moody’s in action brought by institutional
investors alleging that it published fraudulent ratings of notes issued by a
structured investment vehicle.
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce: Achieved dismissal of MBS class action
against the CEO, CFO and former Chief Risk Officer of Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce (CIBC), as well as the former Chairman and CEO of CIBC World Markets,
alleging that they and the bank fraudulently misled investors regarding the
bank’s exposure to subprime sectors of the U.S. real estate market.
- UBS AG: Defending UBS, Deutsche Bank AG and Royal Bank of Scotland in MBS
litigation in federal and state courts.
White Collar and SEC Enforcement Litigation
- Lynn Tilton: Trial counsel to Lynn Tilton and Patriarch Partners in an SEC enforcement action alleging violations of the Investment Advisers Act and the Investment Company Act.
- UBS AG: Achieved negligence-based settlement with the SEC in connection with investigations by the SEC and the Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice of UBS's V10 Index, which was linked to FX trading overseas, persuading DOJ not to bring any criminal charges.
- UBS AG: Represented UBS AG in the resolution of investigations involving
the alleged manipulation of LIBOR and other interest rate benchmarks that were
conducted by numerous domestic and foreign law enforcement, competition and
- UBS AG: Represents UBS AG in various investigations and litigation related
to the foreign exchange market.
- Global financial institution: Represents a global financial institution in
investigations being conducted by federal and state prosecutors who are members
of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group.
- The Starr Foundation: Served as Special Counsel to the Independent
Committee of The Starr Foundation and assisted the committee in conducting an
investigation of the issues raised in a report issued by former New York State
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, in which it was alleged that Maurice R. “Hank”
Greenberg and other board members of The Starr Foundation breached their
- Scientific Atlanta: Represented former CFO of Scientific Atlanta in SEC
enforcement proceedings arising out of business transactions between Scientific
Atlanta and Adelphia Communications Corporation.